Saturday night was a great night for all champions of women’s hockey with the announcement of the NWHL’s Boston Pride playing against the CWHL’s Les Canadiennes de Montreal at the Winter Classic site in Boston.
Then USA Hockey went and ruined it.
Kate Cimini of Today’s Slapshot tweeted out the unbelievable news:
Knight says she and Team USA players will not be at the Winter Classic due to commitment w/ nat. Team
— Kate Cimini (@k_cimini) December 6, 2015
And what is the national team’s commitment that would keep their players out of the free publicity opportunity outside of the Olympics, you ask? Dining with Obamas to celebrate their 4 Nations Cup win over Canada? Toilet papering new Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s house with Sasha and Malia?
Nope. They’ll be attending the LAST DAY of World Championships training camp on New Year’s Eve. You know, a training camp for a tournament that happens in March. So, it’s totally important to keep them out of what could be a once-in-a-lifetime event. It’s not like 90-percent of them play together in the NWHL.
This decision by USA Hockey is incomprehensible. They are going against their own goal of growing the game with girls and women by passing up on – again – FREE PUBLICITY to showcase their players on a huge stage. Even worse (from an American point of view)? The Canadian national team players will be there in Foxborough.
Just throwing it out in the universe, what if the national team players left camp and came to the event? Are they going to cut almost all the team for breaking the rules? With a tournament that’s being held on arch nemesis Canada’s home soil, they sure as heck aren’t going allow a subpar team to take the ice.
USA Hockey was contacted for comment. As of publication, the organization has not responded.
Just in case they took the weekend off, let USA Hockey know how you feel about their decision to withhold participation of national team members in the Winter Classic. Here’s their Twitter account: @USAHockey. And Facebook page. And Instagram account. And for some odd reason, LinkedIn. Use the hashtag #LetThemPlay.
Hopefully a gentle nudge (or a full body check) from social media will help change their minds.
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